The Frames Warm Some Hearts

13 Nov

How about something different today? Let’s enjoy some music together; it’ll be like having a listening party! I used to do that as a kid. Call a friend up on the phone after school; “come over and listen to the new Smurfs soundtrack with me!”

True story, I was given a Smurf’s picture-disc LP when I turned eight. I loved it; they sang American Standards and little tunes such as ‘the ants go marching by’ & ‘I’m a pink tooth brush – you’re a blue toothbrush’. Me and my little friend would sit on the red-shag carpeting, listening to records and eating popcorn.

I should do more of that now! A while back, I was at a friends house listening to her record collection; she sang along to ‘The Sound of Music’ while I marveled at having gone my whole life never seeing that film in it’s entirely. True story.


Let’s listen to The Frames together, okay?!

The Frames

The Frames

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard The Frames, or know of Glen Hansard and Swell Season. In which case, I don’t need to tell you how incredibly talented these musicians are; how amazingly moving their music is; the emotion wrapped up into every song. If you haven’t heard The Frames, I implore you to check them out.  You won’t regret it, and if you do — well, you’re not human. There, I said it; no apologies. “Wake up, it’s your love calling”.

If you do know them, I hope you stick around to enjoy some videos and maybe sing along. If not, sit back and enjoy. Welcome to the nicest band in the world.

“I shall eclipse you”

Fitzcarraldo – Live at Victor Street, 2010 20th Anniversary Show

“Why are you runnin’ away”

Seven Day Mile – Live TLA Philly – November 2010

There seems to be an endless supply of excellent live performances by The Frames (and Glen, and Swell Season) on youtube. This band plays their hearts out. The energy inside a Frames show is glowing, colorful, lively. Moving. Inspirational. Uplifting. Full of emotion and love. Humor and respect. All good feelings.

“There is a love that flows between us”

What happens When the Heart Just Stops – Live at TLA Philly, November 2010

“I want my life to make more sense”

Pavement Tune – Live at TLA Philly, November 2010

Frames shows are EPIC.  They are dance parties and sing-alongs. They are conversations and ‘revelations’ and merry-making fun times. “Pavement Tune” always gets the crowd dancing; I love when the song explodes and opens up at the three-minute-twenty mark. In this version from Lollapalooza in 2006, when Glen calls the song “I WANT MY LIFE TO MAKE SENSE”, the crowd coos in gorgeous harmony with the violin, and it’s almost too much to take. Ahhhhhh. My heart! It’s exploding.

“I’ve got reservations about so many things, but not about you.”

What’s more amazing is their evolution from playing on the streets of Dublin, busking (with Mic Christopher) and dazzling crowds with their songs, to playing in tiny clubs where everyone sings along during the loud bits, and shuuuusssshhhhhhes each other during the quiet bits. Then it’s on to playing in front of gigantic audiences and festivals around the world, where EVERYONE sings along. Then screenwriting, directing & composing a movie. Winning awards, friends, and hearts.

My favorite shows are the ones where Glen tells stories. At Lollapalooza in 2006, after teaching the audience the chorus, he explains what inspired him to write “People All Get Ready”.  Even better at the end of the song after rousing the audience through a beautiful chant, he “calls” his Ma (using the hand-to-ear phone):

“Hello Ma? Hey Ma. I’m in the middle of Chicago, in this fucking big park. People are singing ‘me songs, Ma.  It’s fucking brilliant.  We feel all famous, we do!”

All of the musicians are extremely talented and giving; the band’s chemistry is off the charts amazing. Glen Hansard is hilarious, very charming, and KIND. He plays for fans out in the parking lot before shows.

In the video below, the band starts playing Bob Dylan’s ‘Girl From the North Country” and halfway through, have someone from the audience come up and finish the song.

“I don’t wanna stop this song. I know we were supposed to start another song, but this one’s great. Does anybody know this song? You know it? Do you wanna come and sing it? I’m playing harmonica though.” “I’ll be Johnny, you be Bob”. “I’m bass!” “I’m bass-ier!”

In this old performance of ‘Santa Maria’ at their beloved Vicar Street, Glen reads fake school-day announcements off his hand,and picks on the crowd for a little bit before blowing their eardrums out. Literally; this song starts out nice and quiet (you can hear people in the crowd shushing), and then goes to ELEVEN about five minutes in; adjust your ears accordingly.

Put this song on, kick back and just breathe.

I hope you have enjoyed this completely obsessive, EPIC post about one of my favorite bands, The Frames. May they warm your heart and soul.


One of my favorite Will Oldham Palace Music songs is ‘New Partner’. I play this song sometimes early in the morning, when the light is golden and I’m riding on the train to work through swamps and cement mills. I think of being a kid, riding through the Smokey Mountains with my dad listening to Willie Nelson.  I dunno; Oldham just works like that for me.  Anyway! This video right here is The Frames doing a cover of ‘New Partner’, and it is achingly gorgeous, lush, beautiful, and haunting.

“I got a partner riding with me, I got a new partner now!”

One true shame is that this video cuts the song off a few seconds too early. FOR SHAME!


Mlle. Remi


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